Skip Navigation

Geography and Environmental Sustainability

The South Oval on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman
Skip Side Navigation

Geography and Environmental Sustainability


We are a dynamic and growing department located in Norman, Oklahoma, named one of the best small cities in America.

Our mission is to conduct innovative and socially relevant research; to expand students’ intellectual vistas via critical perspectives and valuable tools and skills; and to catalyze sustainable human-natural systems.

Join DGES with the Online MS in Geospatial Technologies program!

With the mission to foster the insights, technical skills, and advanced training in geospatial technologies, the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences and the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Oklahoma offer the online Master of Science in Geospatial Technology program. Representing the intersection of geography and technology, the program's curriculum was specifically designed to provide students with the theoretical and practical geospatial technology skills needed to advance in this rapidly growing field of study. An advanced degree from OU in geospatial technologies prepares you to leverage new technologies to support governmental, environmental, business, and societal decision-making affecting the future of our planet. Application instructions and more information are available here:

Launch your career by studying Geography at The University of Oklahoma!

Letter from the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences

DGES is posting the letter below with a very heavy heart! As most of you probably know, the college lost several students this weekend. We want you all to know we are here for you if you need anything. If you need an ear to listen to, a shoulder to cry on, or just advice on how to navigate the upcoming weeks as we process this loss.


April 30, 2022


Dear Students and Colleagues,


Earlier today, the OU School of Meteorology received devasting news that three of our students were involved in a fatal car crash last night. Before reaching out to each of you or being responsive to any inquiries, we have spent the past several hours working to confirm the information, all in the hopes that what we learned early today was false. We have since learned that the reports we received were accurate, and after University officials being in touch with the families, we now write you to share this truly tragic news.


We are deeply saddened and our sincerest condolences go out to all affected families and friends. This news comes at a time in the semester when we are diligently preparing for the close of our studies and celebrating our graduates. Our leadership and faculty stand ready to support each of you in the days, weeks, and months ahead as we all grieve this unthinkable heartbreak. Please remember that the University Counseling Center is available to provide support for OU community members in need. We encourage you to seek that help if needed.


Our community in Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences is close-knit, and our School of Meteorology is very much a family. Now, more than ever, we must come together in kindness and heartfelt support for one another. Please join us in offering thoughts and prayers for those most impacted, and providing them with privacy.




Jens Redemann
Director, School of Meteorology

Berrien Moore III

Dean, College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences

Open Letter from Chair

Dear DGES Family:

Today marks the start of the Spring 2022 semester and for the fourth semester in a row, I am hopeful that this will finally be our last COVID semester.  We start off the new year and the new semester during challenging times and the recent impact of the Omicron variant has the potential to make the start of the semester difficult for all of us.  However, as I wrote at the beginning of the school year, I remain extremely impressed with the resilience and fortitude of the entire DGES family, and that is true even more so now as we all have successfully completed another semester since I wrote that message.   This semester will still be extremely challenging for all of us but I know we will persevere if we all remain vigilant.  I strongly encourage you to follow the OU efforts to overcome these difficult times through  In addition, please know that all the DGES faculty and staff are here to do whatever we can to support you and help you succeed this semester.  Thus, please reach out if you feel you are struggling or need support of any kind.   My real and virtual zoom office doors are always open and available, so please feel free to come by in person if there is anything with which I can help.  You can also reach out to me via email or zoom or to Dr. Hoagland or to any one of the other amazing DGES staff (Jamie, Emalee, Izzy, or Charles).

Warm regards and good luck this semester.


DGES is pleased to announce that Todd Fagin has been hired as Executive Associate Director of the Center for Spatial Analysis.

Todd Fagin is a geographer with interests in biogeography, landscape ecology, GIS applications, and emerging geospatial technologies. His research broadly falls under the category of land systems science, exploring the causes and consequences of land use/land cover change, particularly in the Southern Great Plains, as well as changes in species distributions largely due to anthropogenic factors. Todd received his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Oklahoma in 2009. Subsequently, he has held several academic positions, including as a visiting assistant professor at Oklahoma State University, an adjunct professor at Oklahoma City Community College, and a lecturer at the University of Oklahoma. Prior to coming to the Center for Spatial Analysis, Todd worked as a conservation data analyst for the Oklahoma Natural Heritage Inventory, a program of the Oklahoma Biological Survey.

DGES in the News

DGES faculty member, Dr. Laurel Smith, a white settler scholar, and Loren Waters, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and the Kiowa Tribe, have been collaborating for five years. Most recently, with funding from the Department of Geography & Environmental Sustainability, the College of Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences, and the Tribal TAB Program at Kansas State University, Laurel and Loren coproduced the short film Restoring Néške'emāne. Restoring Néške'emāne screened in the deadCenter Film Festival, June 9-12 in Oklahoma City. As Oklahoma’s biggest festival and an Oscar-qualifying event, it is an enormous honor and accomplishment to be accepted into deadCenter. For more information about the film and its three showings at the festival, visit this website. To learn more about the collaboration between Loren and Laurel, see the story about the Native Crossroads screening on Page 26 in the Norman Magazine, and listen to Loren's discussion of the film in this podcast associated with the North Dakota Environmental Rights Film Festival.

DGES Research Assistant Professor, Tom Mueller, was featured in a recent KOCO news story. This story touches on the issues associated with people moving away from rural Oklahoma towns. Read more here and watch the video below: